If expats’ remittances are any indication, UAE’s economy is surging forward

May 30, 2018 12:55 pm

Expat remittances in the UAE jumped 17.4% yoy in Q1, 2018, led by Indians in terms of the value, according to Mubasher, quoting the UAE Central Bank.

Remittances reached $11.84 billion in Q1 2018, led by Indians transferring $10 bn, according to a central bank report.

“Meanwhile, Pakistanis and Filipinos came in second and third with total remittances of $2.4 billion and $1.88 billion, respectively,” said Mubasher.

Related: Indian expats in the UAE reap benefits of the falling rupee

A better year?

Remittances were up $1.76bn compared to $1bn in the same period last year, with 71% of transactions performed via exchange houses and the rest through financial institutions, according to the Central Bank.

“The overall increase came despite a decrease in the exchange rate of the UAE dirham by 7 per cent from January until March compared to the same period last year,” UAE dailies reported.

2017 total remittances rose 2.2% on 2016 $44.7bn, according to national news agency WAM, quoting the UAE Central Bank.

Ready to leave: UAE expats driven away by high living expenses?

UAE’s non-oil growth

UAE non-oil economic growth slows slightly, said Reuters quoting the UAE Central Bank.

“Non-oil economic activity in the United Arab Emirates grew by 3.1% from a year earlier in Q1 2018, slowing slightly from 3.4% in Q1 2017,” Reuters said the central bank estimated on Tuesday.

Overall economic activity, which includes oil output, grew by 1.2% in Q1, same as last year.

“The central bank raised its forecast for gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2018 to 2.7% from its previous forecast of 2.5%,” said Reuters.

Citing better prospects for the global economy, the bank lifted its prediction for the UAE’s non-oil GDP growth to 3.9% from 3.6% in 2018, while for next year the central bank expects overall GDP to expand 3.1% on the back of 4.3% growth in the non-oil economy.”

Reuters added that the UAE’s residential real estate market continued to decline in Q1 2018, with prices dropping 4.2% yoy in Dubai and 7.8% yoy in Abu Dhabi, quoting the central bank.

Read: No fees on expats’ remittances, says Saudi finance ministry


Hadi Khatib
By Hadi Khatib
Hadi Khatib is a business editor with more than 15 years' experience delivering news and copy of relevance to a wide range of audiences. If newsworthy and actionable, you will find this editor interested in hearing about your sector developments and writing about it.